The purchase of a bike is nothing difficult nowadays, as they are available even in supermarkets. However, there are certain things you need to know about bikes if you want to enjoy your new vehicle for a long time. Discover the basic factors that should be considered in order to make the right choice.
Price is the first thing that you should consider. Usually it reflects the quality. You can expect that a bike for USD 100 will not satisfy your needs to the same extent as a one for USD 600. Many factors affect the final price of a bicycle, such as the quality of the parts and materials, the value of the accessories (derailleurs, brakes, etc.) Obviously, you should always avoid dishonest sellers, who set the prices very high, claiming “an establish brand” or just hoping that the buyer knows little about the real value of the gear. Before you go to a shop, check the typical market prices online.
The weight of your vehicle is important not only due to the driveability and acceleration, but also due to more practical reasons, such as carrying your bike up the stairs. Usually, the lighter a bike is, the higher its price, so the lightest ones are usually the most expensive as well. However, you can try to reduce the weight by removing the mud-guards, kickstand or luggage carrier. Remember, it is always easier to “slim down” the racing and cross-country bicycles.
The type of bike brakes is not of the greatest importance. Disk brakes and V-Brakes are the most common ones. Both types have their good and bad sides. Disk brakes work better in a bad weather, but they are much more expensive, while their repair and maintenance can be very difficult. V-Brakes, on the other hand, are less expensive and much easier to repair, but their braking force tends to diminish with use. Therefore, the choice is yours, but the important thing is that the breaks of your bike should always be in a perfect working condition.
Every bicycle should be typically equipped with a standard 18 gears: three at the front and six at the rear. However, seven-gear rear derailleurs are becoming increasingly popular, although they don’t make driving easier. Check if the sprockets have plastic covers. The bigger the covers, the more difficult it is to access the mechanism in order to repair it or lubricate the chain. As far as the shifters are concerned, the opinions are split. Both the twist-style index ones and the friction ones are good. Therefore, your decision will result from which of them you consider more comfortable.
In general, a comfortable saddle needs to be wide and soft. Make sure it is well profiled and you only need an imbus key to adjust it.
Remember to take a test ride before you decide on a specific model. Every good salesmen will let you take it if you leave a deposit or your ID. Check if the bike is easy to ride, and how the brakes and derailleurs work. Take as many factors as possible into consideration before you make the final decision, and your bike will serve you well for a long time.